Zelenskiy meets wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Netherlands

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy visits Netherlands

By Bart H. Meijer

SOESTERBERG, Netherlands (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy handed out watches to wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a Dutch military base on Thursday as part of his surprise visit to the Netherlands.

Zelenskiy had earlier met the king and prime minister and called for a new international tribunal to be set up in The Hague to try Russia's leadership for the crime of aggression over its invasion of Ukraine.

In his visit to the military base in Soesterberg, near Utrecht, the president met a handful of soldiers who are undergoing rehabilitation treatment in the Netherlands after suffering severe wounds in fighting against Russian forces.

He also met dozens of others who are being trained by the Dutch military, including in learning to use Patriot missile defense systems.

"Here we see what help is," Zelenskiy said at the base, where weapons and military equipment destined for use in the war are being prepared for dispatch.

"Help with weapons that protect lives, with treating soldiers, teaching them the military skills needed and with investigating Russian war crimes," he said.

Zelenskiy viewed equipment including armoured howitzers, military cranes and mobile hospitals.

Dutch Defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said the Netherlands will provide the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is investigating alleged war crimes in Ukraine, with a mobile laboratory for forensic research.

It is "crucial for bringing those responsible to justice," she said.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer, Writing by Toby Sterling, Editing by Alexandra Hudson)